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A Camping We Will Go!

on June 29, 2012

Growing up one of my favorite things to do was go camping with my grandparents.  They had a  little pop-up camper and would take my cousins and I camping on occasion.  It was great fun: swimming in a lake, fishing, playing on the playground and let’s not forget bonfires and s’mores!  I loved it.  As I got older my grandparents took me along to help take care of my “baby cousins” whom they would take camping every summer.  I had a friend whose family took me camping with them sometimes. My parents eventually started camping every summer as well. I’d tag along when I could.  I still loved it.  Eventually my grandparents got a travel trailer and began spending a large amount of the summer camping at their favorite lake.  When our oldest son was very small I talked my husband into going out to visit my parents and grandparents as they camped at that lake.  We just stayed one night, but my husband was hooked. He became a camper that trip.  It took us a couple of years but we purchased enough camping equipment to venture out on our own camping trips.  That’s when I figured out that maybe I didn’t love it as much as I remembered.

I have this theory that everything is more fun when you are a kid.  for me this is true for camping. at least  I’m pretty sure that the reason I loved it so much when I was growing up was because there was no work involved for me. I just got to go and play at the lake.  I didn’t have to plan a menu and prepare half the food ahead of time. I didn’t have to pack three-quarters of the kitchen into a tote. I didn’t have to make sure I had all the essentials along: bug spray, sun lotion, towels, bedding….you get the drift.  Once I got to the camp site I didn’t have to set up an outdoor kitchen under a screen tent. I didn’t have to boil water to wash the dishes. I didn’t have to pack food up and then turn around and unpack it all again in what seemed like minutes. I didn’t have to keep an eye on toddlers who think everything they find belongs in their mouth.  My grandparents and parents had a camper of some sort to use as a “home base”: not a tent.  If it rained we could go inside.  If it got windy (and this is Nebraska so OF COURSE it got windy) we could get in out of it for a while.  It was during one of our camping trips with our small children trying to sleep in a tent while the wind was blowing 35 miles per hour that I figured out why so many pioneer women went crazy. The sound of rustling canvas is not relaxing. At least it isn’t to me. I still loved the other things about camping: the fishing, not having to worry about what needed to be done around the house, no phone, the s’mores.  I just never realized how much work it was to go and relax.  Since my husband and kids enjoyed it we went and I smiled.

Over the next years because of job changes and life happening we stopped going camping. I can’t say I was sad. We went a few times and stayed in a cabin at a state park.  That worked for me. Indoor plumbing a kitchen and air conditioning. My husband still got to fish and we still got to have a campfire and s’mores. It seemed perfect to me.  Not so perfect to him. Then a few years ago my husband started to get the camping itch again.  He started talking about buying a new tent. I started talking about repainting the living room.  He started taking inventory of the camping equipment in our storage room.  I tagged it and tried to put it on a garage sale. (My son caught me.)  He started talking about getting our youngest boy out on a camping trip because he’d never been.  I felt guilty for being so selfish.  Okay, I said,  we’ll go camping, but I’d be happier if we had a camper of some sort.  Tent camping is a lot more work and I’m getting old.  He changed to a job which would allow him more weekends off and I started getting nervous.  Do I even remember how to make coffee in that camp stove percolator? Then something quite unexpected happened.

My husband’s parents purchased a travel trailer.  A really nice travel trailer.  My mother-in-law is getting close to retirement and they intend to travel once she does.  I was so excited for them. I was also jealous.  I shouldn’t have been because I know these people and they are generous.  One of the first things they told my husband upon the purchase of their new home away from home was that we were welcome to borrow it any time we liked.  (Yes – they were serious. Yes – they are amazing. No – I’m not sharing them.)  I was a bit hesitant to even think about using their brand new trailer, but my husband began plotting.  He’s a smart plotter. He approached me with the idea that we use his parents trailer and go out to visit our son who is in college six hours away.  There is a state park near the town he lives in. We could camp. This is the son I haven’t seen since March.  All hesitation went flying out the window – YES – I’m there – let’s camp!

So after a few days of making lists and planning menus and making sure I don’t forget essentials we are ready to roll out.  With this really nice air conditioned trailer that has a kitchen and indoor plumbing.  I’m so grateful that my in-laws have blessed us with this opportunity. I’m excited to see my son and reclaim my love for camping. I’m excited to introduce our youngest to the fun.  I’m excited to spend some time chilling (relatively speaking – it’s supposed to be a hot weekend) with my family without worrying about what needs to be done around the house. I’m really excited to make s’mores again!

Happy weekend all! I’ll be back to blog on Monday.


5 responses to “A Camping We Will Go!

  1. Michelle says:

    I love Chadron State Park (guessing here). I grew up in Chadron & dad loved to fish there. Lots of tastey rainbow trout. I even went swimming in the lake there (when I wasn’t supposed to; the ice wasn’t as thick as I thought is was). Oops.

  2. sarahlmandl says:

    Hope you have a nice trip, Paula. Jbub is going to love it! I miss our travel trailor. We are in the market for an RV that the kids can spread out in while we drive. =) Have a nice weekend!

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